Patriots' Malcolm Butler to visit New Orleans Thursday

Brandin Cooks traded to New England Patriots, according to reports

Aggressive Patriots trade for Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks

Butler is now under a first round tender from the Patriots, meaning if the Texans signed him themselves, they would have to send the 25th-overall pick in the 2017 Draft to New England.

A deal is in the works for that would see Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler end up playing for the Saints. They will have to give up a first-round pick to sign him since he's a restricted free agent with a first-round tender.

That's what they tendered Butler as, he's a very good player, and there's no reason New England should consider anything less (sorry to the Texans and their hopes that a second-round pick may do it).

The drama surrounding the New England Patriots and star cornerback Malcolm Butler is worsening.

Butler's agent, Derek Simpson, said last week that reports of Butler asking for "the moon" in his next contract were "completely false" as the "Patriots haven't approached Malcolm about his contract since a year ago". Last season, the Patriots had a great combination at cornerback with Butler and Logan Ryan.

Bleacher Report mentioned that it was CSN New England's Michael Girardi who broke the news about Butler's feelings towards the addition of Gilmore.

The Saints are still courting Butler, and the process will continue with the Saints negotiating a contract with him.

I didn't disagree with the Graham trade two years ago, so I'm certainly not going to question the expected departure of Cooks, a highly productive receiver and budding prima donna. Players aren't allowed to be traded if they aren't under contract.

So to recap, the Patriots can take any of the following options as compensation for Butler (assuming other teams play ball, of course).

Wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. has torched the Saints for a number of years as a member of the Carolina Panthers, but now, the speedster is wearing black and gold. And it will in turn help that pass rush, which just made a slight improvement with the signing of free agent Alex Okafor on Tuesday. The Patriots nabbed Stephon Gilmore to start off free agency.

Brandin Cooks hauled in 8 touchdowns to go along with over 1,100 receiving yards last season for the New Orleans Saints.

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